Fragrant Chicken Noodle Soup
The fresh, light, and fragrant nature of this spicy soup make it so uplifting. Before you’ve even dived in there’s a sense of winter comfort and the familiarity of Vietnamese flavours.
Chicken noodle soups can be as simple as a whole chicken cooked in broth with seasonal vegetables or paired with spices and fresh Asian ingredients for an aromatic, zesty treat, which is what we’re going for here. The turmeric and ginger provide the goodness and a generous amount of silky noodles gives it body. The aromats and spices infuse the broth and the chicken as it poaches.
This recipe serves six. It’s good for the body and soul, and a party on the palate!
1 x 1.3kg fresh chicken, rinsed
2L good quality chicken stock
50ml fish sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
400gm rice noodles
150gm oyster mushrooms, cut in half
Juice of 1 lime
1 bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
2 chopped spring onions, fried in vegetable oil until crisp
1 lime – cut into wedges
For the paste:
2 tsp coriander seeds
3 small red chillies, chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped (white part only)
8cm piece fresh ginger, skin removed then chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
3cm piece fresh turmeric, skin removed then chopped
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 kaffir lime leaf
½ cup sunflower oil
1. Place all ingredients for the spice paste into a blender until a smooth paste forms. Remove from the blender and transfer to a large stockpot on medium heat. Stir the paste consistently for approx. 6 minutes, ensuring it doesn’t stick, so it starts to get a slightly deeper colour.
2. Add the stock and water and give it a good stir before placing the chicken in. Ensure the chicken is covered with the liquid. Place the lid on the stockpot and bring to a simmer. Remove the lid and cook for 50-55 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
3. Transfer the chicken to a plate to allow it to cool, before removing the skin and shredding the chicken off the bones into a separate bowl.
4. Keep the stockpot to a simmer and, in a separate pot of boiling water, cook the rice noodles for approx. 5-6 minutes (depending on thickness of your noodles).
5. Add the fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice and oyster mushrooms to the stockpot. Stir through and turn up the heat to medium. Check the seasoning and whether you want to add more chilli. Return the shredded chicken to the pot and stir through, cooking for a further few minutes until the noodles are cooked.
6. Divide the rice noodles into serving bowls, then ladle the soup and chicken over the top. Top with coriander, fried shallots and lime wedges and serve hot.
Dana Sims is a Sydney-based food and prop stylist who has grown up in the Eastern Suburbs and loves to create delicious food for entertaining and family. She is inspired by the fresh produce we have access to here in Sydney. For ideas, recipes and styling inspiration, check out her Instagram @stone_and_twine.